Japanese Occupation in Malaysia 1941-1945
Malaya was also affected by the Second World War when on 8 dec. 1941,the Japanese army launched massive attacks through Kota Bharu, Kelantan, thus destroying every vestige of the British defence forces stationed there.
The spirit and strength of the British army was severely affected by the sinking of the British naval ships, Prince of Wales and the Repulse.
On 15 Feb. 1942, the British, led by General Percival,officially surrendered to the Japanese. Thus begun a new colonialisation of Malaya by an Asian Power.
Although Malaya experienced destruction economically and socially during the Japanese Occupation, politically it was a reawakening for the population of Malaya.
The Malayas began to be conscious of the fact that Britain was not an invincible power.
In other words, Japanese success rekindled the spirit of independence from western power, for the Malays.
Although Japanese Occupattion brought economic and social difficulties to a large number of the population, their arrival and success in putting down the Western Forces roused the spirit of the Asian society.
Asians thus became more confident in themselves and less idolizing towards the Westerners.
The rise of Japanese power and influence also hastend the process of the struggle towards independence for Malaya.
●Surrendering of the Japanese Sword Ceremony
General Itagaki is seen handing over his sward to Lieutenant General Messervy,the Commanding Officer of Malaya, followed by other military officers at the Surrende ing of Japanese Sword Ceremony in Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur on 22 Feb.1946.
Though the Japanese Military Administration had caused economic and social difficulties, it had to some extent brought about a radical political change in Malaya.
The Japanese victory over the British in such a short period(70days) had instilled awarness among the Malay nationalists that the British colonialist were not as invincible as they were thought to be.
Altought the Japanese had surrendered, their occupation had left a mark inspiring the Malayas to continue their struggle for the independence of Malaya.